Rendra, Willibrordus S.

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Rendra, Willibrordus S. Gender: M
Willibrordus Surendra Broto Rendra
born on 7 November 1935 at 17:05 (= 5:05 PM )
Place Surakarta, Indonesia, 7s35, 110e50
Timezone JVT h7e30 (is standard time)
Data source
Rodden Rating B
Collector: Scholfield
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_scocol.18.gif 14°03' s_mo.18.gif s_piscol.18.gif 29°48 Asc.s_taucol.18.gif 00°47'

Willibrordus S. Rendra (2008)


Indonesian dramatist, poet, activist, performer, actor and director, widely known as Rendra or W. S. Rendra.

In 1963 he staged his first play ("Dead Voices"). Through the rest of the 1960s his theatre company was instrumental in inaugurating a stream of innovative, modernist, and controversial theatre performances that were based to a large extent on Western models. In 1969, he created a series of dramas without any dialogue where actors employed their bodies and simple sounds such as "bip bop", "zzzzz" and "rambate rate rata."

During the repressive New Order era, Rendra was one of the few creative people in this country who had the courage to express dissent. During the Suharto era, he lived for a long time in a poor district of Jakarta, where artists from all over the world (including Günter Grass) visited. Throughout the 1970s Rendra was increasingly important as a poet and his performances and poetry readings were mass events.

In 1979, during a poetry reading in the Ismail Marzuki art center in Jakarta, Suharto’s military intelligence agents threw ammonia bombs on to the stage and arrested him. He was imprisoned in the notorious Guntur military prison for nine months, spending time in solitary confinement in a cell with a ceiling too low to stand up.

After he was released from prison he was banned from performing poetry or drama until 1986, when he wrote, directed and starred in his eight-hour-long play “Panembahan Reso,” which discussed the issue of the succession of power that was a taboo at that time. After the fall of the Suharto dictatorship in 1998 and the beginning of democratization, Rendra was a dominant figure in the emerging world of modern Indonesian literature and theatre and became the patron of an unrestricted, free and socially engaged artistic community.

In 2003, he hosted the first international poetry festival in Indonesia (in Makassar, Solo, Bandung and Jakarta). Rendra repeatedly stood on the list of candidates for the Nobel Prize for Literature and he saw international publications of his texts and made numerous appearances at literary festivals around the world.

Rendra was married three times and had eleven children. He died on 6 August 2009 in Depok, West Java, aged 73.

Link to Wikipedia biography


Source Notes

Sy Scholfield quotes from "Biografi pengarang Rendra dan karyanya" by Harlina Indijati and Abdul Murad (Pusat Pembinaan dan Pengembangan Bahasa, Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan, 1996), p. 5: "Ia lahir pada tanggal 7 November 1935, pukul 17.05, di kota Solo, Jawa Tengah."

Translation: 'He was born on 7 November 1935 at 17:05 in the city of Surakarta, Central Java.'


  • Family : Relationship : Number of Marriages (Three)
  • Family : Parenting : Kids more than 3 (Eleven)
  • Personal : Religion/Spirituality : Fundamentalist/ Islam
  • Vocation : Entertainment : Actor/ Actress
  • Vocation : Entertain/Business : Director
  • Vocation : Politics : Activist/ social
  • Vocation : Writers : Playwright/ script
  • Vocation : Writers : Poet